August 2022 Vol. 77 No. 8


CUIRE – Forging Ahead in Research, Education and Outreach

It is hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education (CUIRE) was established. In 2000, a trenchless technology conference was held at Michigan State University (MSU). At the end of that conference, a group of industry leaders voted to establish CUIRE.

Hole-spanning Test Apparatus

In August 2006, I accepted an assistant professor position at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), Department of Civil Engineering. The founding members of CUIRE voted unanimously to bring CUIRE to UTA. On Dec. 1, 2006, with help of Dr. Johnny Matthys, a professor at the CE Department (now retired), we held the first trenchless technology and pipe conference at UTA. Ralph Carpenter with American Cast Iron Pipe Company (now retired), Joe Lundy and Sam Arnaout with Hanson Pipe and Precast (now Forterra Pipe & Precast and Thompson Pipe Group) provided funding support for an inaugural meeting of industry professionals to officially establish CUIRE at UTA. 

Since then, CUIRE has become a major resource for industries all over the world. We have supported trenchless conferences in China, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (specifically Qatar and Abu Dhabi) and helped to establish trenchless research centers in some of these countries. 

Training, Education 

In the U.S., we worked with the Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) to conduct annual Trenchless Technology Training and Certification Schools. Recently, in March 2022, we teamed up with Buried Asset Management International (BAMI-I) and Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute (UESI) to host a five-day Utility Investigation School (UIS) at UTA. 

We also hosted Trenchless Technology & Pipe Conference (TTP 2022) last May for the Regional South-Central Chapter of NASTT. Through these outreach efforts, more than 3,000 industry professionals have been trained in trenchless technology methods. 

CUIRE leadership has also developed graduate and senior-level civil engineering and construction courses in pipelines and trenchless technology, which are offered every summer at UTA.

CUIRE Soil Box Facility with a 300-kip MTS Actuator

We have had five books published by McGraw-Hill and helped ASCE committees publish several Manuals of Practices (MOPs). Additionally, we worked with AWWA and ASTM committees to develop standards for different methods. 

Throughout these efforts, we have funded hundreds of graduate students to complete their theses/dissertations in pipelines, trenchless technology and underground infrastructure. We have received more than $2.8 M in governmental grants and from industries for research support. Some of our current activities are highlighted elsewhere in this newsletter. 

Obviously, all these accomplishments could not be possible without the help and support of our advisory board members and friends. They have contributed their time and resources so we can better serve the industry. 


In recent years, we have focused our research efforts on the development of polymeric spray applied pipe linings (SAPLs), which can combat the issue of pipe aging and failures. This technology is one of the most cost-effective and versatile trenchless pipeline renewal methods, due to its minimum access requirements. 

SAPL is applied inside a pipe for either corrosion prevention or to enhance load bearing capacity of the host pipe by creating a new interactive polymeric pipe. CUIRE, in collaboration with various industry partners, is testing and evaluating the structural properties of SAPL liner materials.

This testing program will classify the polymeric SAPL for pressure and gravity standards in pipes and culverts, as well as industrial applications requiring high pressure. 

TABLE 1 presents the CUIRE testing capabilities and equipment list. We have procured various equipment to improve our testing and material certification programs. 

Please call us at (817) 272-9177, email or visit our website at with any questions or comments. You can register for our upcoming training schools at 

We would love to hear from you! 


Mohammad Najafi, CUIRE Director 

20th Annual Certification Schools Held by CUIRE 

CUIRE, University of Texas at Arlington, held its 20th Annual Pipeline and Trenchless Technology Training and Certification Schools in conjunction with the Underground Construction Technology (UCT) International Conference & Exhibition on Jan. 24-25, 2022, in Fort Worth Convention Center, Texas. This year’s program included Pipes, Advanced HDD, Microtunneling/Pilot Tube and Spray Applied Pipe Lining – SAPL. 

Additionally, UCT/CUIRE offered a new two-part course entitled “Geotechnical Site Investigation and Planning for New Trenchless Technology Installation,” providing information on common trenchless methods and supporting geotechnical investigations. 

More than 50 professionals and graduate students attended these schools, which were taught by expert instructors from the industry with at least 20 years of experience working in the trenchless technology field. 

Attendees received up to 1.2 CEUs and 12 PDHs, and a PDF copy of all presentations on a USB drive. 

CUIRE Schools speakers included: 

  • Advanced Horizontal Directional Drilling Schools:

–            Jeff Puckett, P.E., President, J.D. Hair & Associates, Inc. 

–            Jwala Sharma, Ph.D., PE., Project Manager, Michels Corporation 

–            Mike Whitehouse, Technical Sales/Fabrication Specialist, ISCO Industries, Inc. 

–            Peyton Boyle, Vermeer Corporation 

–            Jim Williams, PE, PMP, Senior Associate, Brierley Associates 

–            Mark Gallucci, Customer Insight, Digital Control Incorporated 

  • Geotechnical Schools for Pipelines and Trenchless Technology:

–            Tennyson Muindi, P.E., McMillen Jacobs Associates 

–            Nicholas H. Strater, P.G., Brierley Associates Corporation 

  • Pipe Schools:

–            Jeff Boschert, P.E., National Clay Pipe Institute 

–            Rich Mielke, P.E., Northwest Pipe 

–            Margarita Takou, P.E., American Concrete Pipe Association 

–            Allen Cox, DIPRA Regional Director 

–            Shah Rahman, MBA, Practice Leader – North Texas, KCI Technologies Inc. 

–            Brad King, Underground Solutions, Inc. 

–            Rene Garcia, HOBAS Pipe USA 

–            Camille George Rubeiz, P.E., Plastic Pipe Institute 

  • Pilot Tube and Microtunneling School:

–            Troy Stokes, Akkerman, Inc. 

–            Jeff Boschert, National Clay Pipe Institute 

–            Dr. Glenn M. Boyce, Ph.D., PE, McMillen Jacobs Associates 

  • Spray Applied Pipe Lining (SAPL) School:

–            Sanaz Ghalambor, Polymer Engineer, Nukote Coating Systems International 

–            Dr. Mo Ehsani, PhD, PE, SE, QuakeWrap Inc. 

–            Kawalpreet Kaur, Research Associate, CUIRE/UTA 

–            Dr. Amin Tehrani, Project Manager, ASFI Construction 

–            Dr. Zahra (Ellie) Kohankar, Project Engineer, Hazen and Sawyer 

–            Chip Johnson, P.E., Director, Sprayroq Inc. 

CURE UCT Exhibit, Future Schools 

On Jan. 25–27, the CUIRE research team had a booth at the UCT Exhibition Hall to introduce the latest testing and development at CUIRE, such as structural design methodology for Spray Applied Pipe Liners (SAPLs) in gravity stormwater conveyance conduits and pressure pipe applications through soil-box testing and finite element modeling (FEM).

CUIRE Research Team at UCT 2022 Exhibit

CUIRE will hold its 21st Annual Pipeline and Trenchless Technology Training and Certification Schools in conjunction with UCT on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, at Orlando Convention Center, Orlando, Fla. 

This year’s program includes Pipes (Schools A & B) Advanced HDD (Schools C & D), as well as ½ day of Microtunneling/Pilot Tube (School E) and Spray Applied Pipe Lining – SAPL (School F). 

We offer government agencies a discount for their registration. Also, full-time students can attend for free with advanced registration. 

For registration and more information, visit our website or contact CUIRE at (817) 272-9177. 

CUIRE Booth at UCT Exhibition Hall

CUIRE Graduate Students 

Dr. Karthikeyan Loganathan (Logan) is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Civil Engineering (CE) department at UTA. Dr. Logan teaches various undergraduate and graduate courses in construction engineering and management. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Texas at Tyler and Ph.D. at UTA. Dr. Logan is actively involved in research projects and his accomplishments can be seen from the peer-reviewed journal articles and international conference papers he authored.

Dr. Daniel Atamboo is a professional engineer registered with Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Engineers Board of Kenya. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and two master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering from Lamar University. He is a board member of Underground Construction Technology Association North Texas Section and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Institution of Engineers of Kenya.

Venkata Mukunda Varshneya Khandavilli graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a master’s degree in construction management in December 2021. During his tenure as a Research Assistant at CUIRE, he has worked on SAPL, Hydraulic flow and Hydrostatic tests. He is currently working as a project control associate at Black & Veatch, building a Combined Cycle Power Plant in Alabama.

UESI, BAMI-I, CUIRE Hold Annual Utility Investigation Schools 

The 12th UESI BAMI-I Annual Utility Investigation Schools (UIS) was hosted by CUIRE/UTA.

The five-day workshop was held on March 14-18, at the University of Texas at Arlington. 

The ASCE’S Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI) teamed up with the Buried Asset Management Institute – International (BAMI-I) and CUIRE to conduct the event. 

NASTT 2022 No-Dig Show 

The CUIRE team attended the NASTT 2022 No-Dig Show in Minneapolis from April 10–13. Our Ph.D. students presented “Evaluation of a Hybrid Polyurea Spray Applied Pipe Lining for Structural Pipe Rehabilitation.” The CUIRE team also voluntarily completed some assignments to help the NASTT team during the event. Dr. Najafi and his students had a great experience attending this significant event.

NASTT 2022 No-Dig Show – Minneapolis, MN– April 2022 

CUIRE Industry Advisory Board  

Members of the CUIRE Industry Advisory Board include: 

Abu Abraham, P.E. 

Director of Engineering 

Insituform Technologies, LLC 

Robert A. Carpenter 


Underground Construction Magazine 

Bruce Hollands 

Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association 

Aaron Houming Ni 

Asoe Hose Manufacturing Inc. 

Julia J. Hunt, P.E. 

Formerly Assistant Regional  

Trinity River Authority of Texas 

Bruce Jameson 

Regional Manager 

Ace Pipe Cleaning, Inc. 

Dr. Jey K. Jeyapalan, P.E. 


Civic Enterprises, LLC 

Therese R. Kline, P.E. 

Flexible Pipe Specialist 

Michigan Department of Transportation 

David Marshall, P.E. 

Former Director of Engineering  
and Operations Support 

Tarrant Regional Water District 

Lynn Osborn, P.E. 

LEO Consulting, LLC 

Camille George Rubeiz, P.E. 

Director of Engineering 

Plastic Pipe Institute 

Jim Rush 

Editorial Consultant 

Benjamin Media Inc. 

Dr. Larry Slavin 


Outside Plant Consulting Services, Inc. 

Dr. Niranjan Swarup 

Director General 

Indian Society for Trenchless Technology (IndSTT) 

Richard Williammee Jr., P.E. 

Formerly Materials Engineer Fort Worth District 

Texas Department of Transportation 

Sanaz Ghalambor 

Polymer Engineer | MBA | VP of Specifications  
and Testing 

Nukote Coating Systems International, LLC 

CUIRE Field Trips – NTMWD Tunnel Tour 

On April 23, 15 University of Texas Civil Engineering and Construction Management students visited a 2,000 foot, 50-feet deep, 10-foot diameter tunnel construct by Triad Engineering & Consulting Company for the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). Many thanks to Triad Engineering & Consulting Company and Patrick Niemuth, P.E., Project Engineer, and his colleague Hussein Matar, who provided an excellent tour of the jobsite and the tunnel as well as the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). We appreciate all their efforts to close the jobsite to safely provide this tour and hospitality. After completion of the tunnel, 20-foot sections of 8-foot diameter Hobas Pipe USA, Inc., will be installed.

North Texas Municipal Water District’s Tunnel Tour – 2022 

Thompson Pipe Group Tour 

On May 23, SC-NASTT and CUIRE, in conjunction with the Thompson Pipe group, organized a tour for a group of attendees and students. The tour provided an insider’s look on how various trenchless pipes like steel, concrete jacking pipe, and fiberglass pipe are manufactured. 

Dr. Najafi and Students at the Thompson Pipe Group Tour – 2022 

Trenchless Technology and Pipe Conference Held 

On May 23 and 24, the South-Central Chapter of NASTT (SC-NASTT) and CUIRE held the sixth Trenchless Technology and Pipe Conference (TTP 2022) at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) campus, with more than 100 people attending. The sessions were divided into three tracks: new installations, rehabilitation and trenchless planning.


At the beginning of the conference, a plenary session was held with welcome presentations by Alan Goodman, president of NASTT National; Justin Taylor, president of SC-NASTT; Dr. Mo Najafi, CUIRE director; Honorable Jim Ross, mayor of Arlington; Dean Peter Crouch, UTA College of Engineering; Steven Metzler, manager at TRA; and Shelly Hattan, project manager at TRWD. 

TTP 2022 Speakers’ Information 

  • Track A–New Installations

–            Bailey Ratcliff, Zoltan Fekete, Josh Kristinek, Kent Riker, City of Lubbock 

–            Billy Cofflet and Adam Farguson, Fort Worth Water 

–            Tyler Hill, Mears Group Inc. 

–            Jason Pollock, Alan Goodman, Hurk Underground and HammerHead Trenchless 

–            Gabriel Garcia & Kerby Primm, CCI & Associates 

–            Troy Stokes and Jon Valin, Akkerman 

–            Philip Wheat, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. 

–            Cameron Lawrence, Freese and Nichols 

–            David Bearden, HDR

  • Track B–Rehabilitation

–            Firat Sever, QuakeWrap, Inc. 

–            James Dugger, Wastewater Prime Resins 

–            Diego Calderon and Smith Rangell, CUIRE 

–            John Newell, NO-DIGTEC, LLC 

–            Sanaz Ghalambor, Kawalpreet Kaur and Mo Najafi, Nukote Coating Systems International and CUIRE 

–            Daniel Atambo, Vinayak Kaushal, Mo Najafi, City of Dallas and UTA 

–            Amy Robinson, Walter Norwood, Carmen Drake, CDM Smith and City of Fort Worth 

–            Yonin Villares, Alan Goodman, T Construction LLC and HammerHead Trenchless 

–            Lauren Kubin, Tim Peterie, North Texas Municipal Water District and Insituform Technologies, LLC 

  • Track C–Trenchless Planning

–            Gus Khankarli, City of Dallas 

–            Carl Pitzer, Thompson Pipe Group 

–            Dorairaja Raghu, and Mo Najafi, UTA 

–            Amin Tehrani, ASFI Construction, LLC 

–            Vinayak Kaushal and Mo Najafi, UTA 

–            Rollin Boyd, Brownline 

TTP 2022 Sponsors 

–            ASFI Construction 

–            Ace Pipe Cleaning 

–            Akkerman 

–            CCI and Associates 

–            HammerHead Trenchless 

TTP 2022 Exhibitors 

–            ASFI Construction 

–            Nukote Coating Systems International 

–            Ace Pipe Cleaning 

–            Akkerman 

–            CCI and Associates 

–            HammerHead Trenchless 

–            Thompson Pipe Group 

–            Aegion-Insituform Technologies, Underground Solutions 

–            SewperCoat 

–            QuakeWrap 

–            Fuquay 

–            Utilicor Technologies 

–            Michels Pipe Services 

–            CUIRE, UTA 

During the welcome session, 10 student scholarships of $1,000 each, were awarded by SC-NASTT. Roz Javadizadeh, Zahra Borhani, Salar Shirkhanloo, Ahmad Jibreen, Ehsan Rajaie, Kawalpreet Kaur, and Madhuri Arjun are UTA students and CUIRE members who have won this scholarship. 

For more information on future events, contact CUIRE at (817) 272-9177 or

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